Cape Town - Chris Dry and Justin Geduld
have returned to the Springbok Sevens squad and will travel with the Blitzbokke
for the next two Sevens World Series tournaments in New Zealand and the United
The Wellington Sevens takes place on the
weekend of February 6-7 in the New Zealand capital of Wellington and this will
be followed by the Las Vegas Sevens a week later, from February 13-15. The squad
will depart to New Zealand on Friday 30 January.
South Africa will enter the Las Vegas
tournament as the defending champions, and this followed on a successful 2013
season in the USA, meaning they will be hunting their third back-to-back title
in four years at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Nevada.
The team head Pool A in Wellington where
they will line up against the USA, France and Japan in the group stage.
Dry missed out on selection for the
Blitzbokke for the Dubai and Port Elizabeth legs but reclaimed his place after
a strong performance for the SA Sevens Academy team in Dubai and impressive
showings during the series of gruelling training sessions in Stellenbosch in
the last few weeks.
He replaces Ruhan Nel, while Geduld steps
in for Cheslin Kolbe who has returned to the Stormers.
The rest of the squad remains unchanged
following two imposing wins in Dubai and Port Elizabeth, which has placed the
Springbok Sevens on top of the World Series standings with 59 points after
three rounds - eight points more than the second-placed Fiji.
Commenting on his team selection, Springbok
Sevens coach Neil Powell said it was a tough decision to select only twelve players.
“We have a really competitive squad of 22
players and it was tough to decide who to leave out because everyone has
impressed me with their commitment and hard work. There is a healthy
competition for places, which brings the best out of the guys during every team
activity,” explains Powell.
He added: “Chris was hurting after missing
out on the previous two tournaments and he deserves credit for the way he has
According to Powell the squad is well aware
of the tough challenge awaiting them in Wellington. “Playing in New Zealand is
a great challenge but we will concentrate on improving our game and eliminating
the mistakes we have identified. Although we are first on the log we are not
getting carried away because there is still a long way to go. The World Series
demands consistency, so our aim will be to build on our momentum and achieve
the team goals we have set for ourselves.”
The top four teams on the final World
Series standings after the London Sevens in May will qualify automatically for
the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
The Springbok Sevens squad for the
Wellington Sevens (February 6-7) and the Las Vegas Sevens (February 13-15) (Rounds 4 and 5 of the Sevens World Series - WSS caps in
brackets, SARU contracted unless indicated):
1. Chris Dry (38)
2. Philip Snyman (27)
3. Frankie Horne (62)
4. Kwagga Smith (9)
5. Werner Kok (12)
6. Kyle Brown (42, captain)
7. Branco du Preez (35)
8. Rayno Benjamin (27, Toyota Cheetahs)
9. Warrick Gelant (2)
10. Cecil Afrika (33)
11. Seabelo Senatla (13)
12. Justin Geduld (14)
• Frankie Horne is the only player in the history of the Sevens World
Series to play 62 consecutive tournaments. He will extend that record to 63 in
• Last December in Port Elizabeth playmaker Cecil Afrika (939) surpassed
Fabian Juries (925) as the top points scorer for the Blitzbokke in the World
• Branco du Preez played in his 35th World Series tournament in PE,
placing him on the Springbok Sevens honours board alongside the likes of
Juries, Horne, Dry, Marius Schoeman, Mzwandile Stick and Kyle Brown.